Batteries are considered to be hazardous waste because of their toxic metal content, so must be disposed of in landfills designed for hazardous waste only.
The introduction of the Batteries Directive (2006/66/EC) into UK law, will undoubtedly increase the amount of waste batteries being collected. This in turn will increase the number of collection points in commercial and industrial premises, retailers or similar. With the correct use of suitable containers and a common sense approach, the risks of storing batteries can be minimised.
Requirements on collecting, treating and recycling waste batteries and accumulators, through the Waste Batteries and Accumulators Regulations 2009 came into force on 5 May 2009, and producers will have to pay for the collection, treatment and recycling of batteries from early 2010.
Any business that produces, supplies, or disposes of batteries and accumulators will be affected. This will apply to all batteries, regardless of their shape, weight, use or chemical composition.
There are several types of batteries and because they are each made from different chemicals and work in different ways, each type has a different recycling route. The most common types of batteries are:
Batteries contain a range of metals that can be reused as a secondary raw material. There are well established methods for the recycling of most batteries containing lead, nickel cadmium, nickel hydride and mercury.
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